Monday, 30 March 2009

A bearmaker's den ...

I blinked and missed the weekend, it flew past in a flurry of housework and shopping, so not much creativity to report here today I'm afraid. Well, maybe a tiny ray of creative colour, after all, I did squeeze an hour to cut out four little raggy dolls and select fabrics for their outfits, but just as I'd made four neat piles of dainty prints and calicos, my workroom was comandeered and I had to empty the contents of my big cupboard ... why is it 'stuff' takes up so much space when it's removed from the confines of its cupboard?! I mustn't complain though, at least the chaos was in a good cause and now I have a new shelf for my overloaded 'stuff' cupboard (well, actually it's two thirds of a shelf at the moment because we miscalculated the timber, but we're almost there!) Hopefully now, there'll be no more exasperating landslides onto my workroom floor whenever I need to find something!

Raggy dolls, raggy dolls!

This bearmaker's 'stuff' cupboard holds: paw fabrics, art materials, large container of doll making equipment, hardboard joints, tub of black utility buttons for raggy doll eyes, mohair offcuts for inset muzzles, washers, nuts, bolts, woodwool (not used that yet - one day!) beads, nail polishes for glass eye painting, bear and doll magazines, leather offcuts, son's old jeans (washed!) in preparation for the day I decide to make a denim bear, wadding, camera tripod, Prisma pens, needlefelting box, photos, steel shot, glass filler, bells, ... oh you name it, it's in there! I've also jammed card for pattern making between the cupboard and chest of drawers ... mustn't waste space!

Drop the canvas door and I'm neat and tidy again!

It's amazing how much storage a bearmaker needs, this cupboard is only for the items mentioned. A bearmaker's den is a very personal place, created around the bearmaker for maximum creative convenience and usually built up over many years. This morning I took my 'point n' shoot' camera into my own den to give you a glimpse into my world of 'essential' bearcrafting items - I couldn't believe how many pics I needed to take to show you everything (and these pics don't include my airbrush equipment and paints, or my knitting bits 'n bobs, all of which live elsewhere)!

First, my mohair mountain ... way too much for my lovely handpainted storage trunk! Stacked on top of the wooden trunk, a large plastic box filled with velvets for paws.

Sewing threads stored on a wall mounted holder ... my favourite gadget, it's so handy!

A large pink floor tub for the plastic pellets

This trolley is great for tucking under my work table and pulling out to use when I'm building a bear

I keep this useful tray of threads and small tools, including my trusty thimble, on top of the trolley to work with while I'm sat at my table

... and a selection of hardboard joints, stuffing tools and pliers in the bottom drawer

A container of essential scissors (pottery by my favourite Cornish potter 'Robert Iving'), turning tools and stuffing tools kept close at hand on my tabletop

So is the worktop organiser for my cotterpins, nuts 'n bolts

... and another one to organise my glass eyes! There's also a smaller version for handpainted eyes ...

Perle embroidery threads for noses are stored in my favourite Cornish fudge tin, given to me years ago by my sister

Current bear patterns (and mags) kept in plastic wallets within handy reach on my worktable

Auction catalogues for inspiration

Bearcrafting books for advice

There's a large box of polyester stuffing in the corner

A really handy bobbin organiser - prevents tangling - with another little pottery dish made by my favourite Cornish potter 'Robert Iving', holding my satin 'All Bear' labels

A desktop tidy for scissors, growlers, more scissors (!) sharp pencils, erasers, fray check, sewing machine oil, biros, screwdrivers, glosses, etc.,

Desktop drawers for buttons vintage and new ...

... assorted ribbons ...

... pretty satin flowers ...

... colourful embroidery threads ...

... bells ...

... and cords!

Fabric pens for shading ...

A drawer for bow-ties and waistcoats ...

... growlers and music boxes ...

... laces and collars ...

Assorted fabrics for clothing, bows stored in an 'under bed' box, under my table!

Work-in-progress baskets

And finally, a picture of my den (workroom!) this morning - I do hope you enjoyed your visit!


  1. I had a big clear up in my craft room yesterday, I need way more storage - love the idea of the curtain hiding it all - have to get me one of those :) have fun with the rag dolls :) Hugs, Catherine xx

  2. You've just given me the push I need to go and get my workroom tidy!! It's in dire need of some love , I seem to be spending too much time looking for things !
    Thanks for the inspiration,
    Hugs, Ginie-Lee

  3. Amazing I do love a good nosey hehe!!
    You are one organised woman, puts my pile to shame
    Sue xx

  4. I'll second Sue! I love a good nosey too! Lovely storage. After our move last May, my new workroom awaits redecoration. I have workroom envy!

    Hugs, Sarah x

  5. I would love a workroom like yours Paula so all my bits and pieces were in the same place!
    Can't wait to see your raggy dolls finished.

  6. Yes I did enjoy the visit he he he, I love a look at workrooms too. I am just in the process of fixing one in my spare bedroom (boxroom really!) and you have inspired me with the organiser trays.


  7. Paula I loved my visit! I just love taking peeks into others' studios. I just got the cleaning bug and re-organized mine... with a few things yet to do.

    Laura Lynn

  8. Ooooh Paula, you are just too organised, my stuff spreads from one end of the house to the other, much to Chris' disgust! Maybe one day when we no longer live in a building site.........


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